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Using Pop-Ups Correctly On Your Website

For a professional in web design in Charleston, SC, it can feel like trends are changing at the speed of light. The development of new devices capable of browsing the Internet and changes to the way Google and other search engines rank search results, among many other factors, quickly make certain web design features obsolete and push others to the forefront. It’s tough to stay on top of these trends, especially if you are determined to be as effective as possible as a website designer. That’s because a balanced response to the evolution of web design is almost always the best one, and that kind of response takes careful study, analysis, and measured policy changes. The use of pop-up elements in Charleston web design is a perfect example.

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Thoughtful website design by the experts:

Why Do We Hate Them?

First of all, let’s discuss the negative impression that most people have about pop-ups in web design. As is usually the case, people have come to resent this element not because it’s intrinsically offensive, but rather because so many people overuse it. You’ve certainly visited a website only to have four or five pop-up elements bombard you from different areas of the screen, each one appearing before you can even respond to the last one. This is clearly a negative user experience, and it’s not surprising if your response is to navigate away from that website as quickly as you can. But that’s not the only way to use pop-up features.

Why We Should Love Them

In the right context, a pop-up feature can actually give a website visitor exactly what they are hoping for: a quick, simple way to get exactly what they came to the website for in the first place. We know that the average Internet user is a very busy person, and they probably aren’t up for scrolling through long pages and navigating to multiple areas of your website in order to do what they came to do. A pop-up element, placed and timed with the user’s priorities in mind, can give them a short-cut to the very thing that they are most likely trying to find or do. The secret—as is the case so often with web design—is to pinpoint what the user wants and build your element around that, rather than pinpointing what you want the user to do and starting from there.

Design a website that your audience loves.

Pop-Up Specifics

So what are some specific features that make a pop-up either valuable or annoying to a user? Many of these features are fairly advanced, beyond simply deciding what buttons appear in the pop-up or what the text should say. For instance, if a visitor to your website leaves and then returns, will they receive the same pop-up notification again? This could get frustrating after a few times, particularly if the visitor already responded to the pop-up the first time around. You may need to create a setting that stops the pop-up from appearing to the same visitor again—or at least after the visitor responds to it.

Do you want to present the pop-up on the home page? It may be more advantageous to give the visitor a chance to process the content on your home page and save the pop-ups for your website’s internal pages. If a visitor is curious enough about one of your services to click on the page featuring that service, you can then give them an opportunity through a pop-up to chat with you directly, get an initial quote for that service, etc.

Finally, think about how much you want your pop-up element to disrupt the user’s experience on your website. The typical pop-up brings the experience to a standstill, forcing a response from the user before they can continue using the website. But you can also have a pop-up come in from the side, bottom, or top of the page, presenting an opportunity but allowing the visitor to continue interacting with the web page if they prefer to do so.
As with any element, a pop-up isn’t necessarily either great or terrible. It depends on how you use it.

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